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WashingtonLawHelp.orgWashington LawHelp

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project LSC Funded

Read this if a natural disaster hit your town and it caused you to lose your job (or caused your employer to reduce your hours). #9906EN


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Should I read this?

Yes, if both these are true:

  • A natural disaster hit your town.

  • It caused you to lose your job (or caused your employer to reduce your hours).

What is Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)?

After a federal disaster, state agencies can administer this program. In Washington, you apply to the Employment Security Department for DUA.

Am I eligible for DUA?

Yes, if both of these are true:

  • You are unemployed (or your employer reduced your hours) for a reason directly related to the disaster.

  • You are not already getting or eligible for regular unemployment benefits.

Examples of being unemployed because of a disaster:

  • The disaster injured you.

  • The disaster damaged your workplace.

  • The disaster made your work commute impossible.

  • You became the head of your household because of a death caused by the disaster.

  • The disaster kept you from starting a new job.

You can be eligible for DUA even if you are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits.  This is true even if:

  • You are self-employed.

  • You could have started working but for the disaster.


This publication provides general information concerning your rights and responsibilities. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice. This information is current as of February 2018.

© 2018 Northwest Justice Project — 1-888-201-1014
(Permission for copying and distribution granted to the Alliance for Equal Justice and to individuals for non-commercial purposes only.)


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Last Review and Update: Feb 27, 2018